Alex Lascarides

Research Interests

My research is in theoretical and computational linguistics. Most of my work is in formal semantics and pragmatics, although I have also applied machine learning techniques and other empirical methods such as game simulations. My work addresses both language interpretation and generation.

I focus much of my research on modelling discourse coherence and its interaction with semantics. The theories I develop use various models of commonsense reasoning; e.g., game theory, Bayesian models of belief, logical models of preference such as CP-nets and various kinds of nonmonotonic logics. I also use dynamic semantics to model how language affects, as well as is affected by, its context of use. And I use underspecified semantics to ensure that linguistic (or gestural) form doesn't underdetermine or overdetermine what it reveals about meaning. I'm involved in building dialogue systems that use a combination of symbolic and statistical methods.


  • Segmented Discourse Representation Theory (SDRT), ongoing work funded by several projects
  • Semantics of Gesture, ongoing work funded by several projects

  • Strategic Conversation (STAC), funded by ERC, 2011--2017
  • Joint Action for Multimodal Embodied Social Systems (JAMES), funded by the EU, 2011--2014

  • Robust Semantic Interpration (ROSIE), funded by Scottish Enterprise, 2001--2005.

  • Data Intensive Acquisition of Rhetorical and Temporal Structure (DART), funded by EPSRC, 2001--2004.

  • Data Intensive Semantics and Pragmatics (DISP), funded by ESRC, 1999--2001.